Last Update: 15 Oct 2018
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Unlicensed and unsafe motels a real concern
Posted on : 27 Aug 2018  Source of News: The Star
 
Yii (sixth from left) with the city council sports team that won third placing in the 2018 Sarawak Local Council sports carnival.

Yii (sixth from left) with the city council sports team that won third placing in the 2018 Sarawak Local Council sports carnival.

MIRI: As many as 37 motels and lodging houses in Miri city that cater to public use have been found to have breached safety and licencing regulations.

The Miri City Council has conducted inspections in various parts of the city and found these premises operating without licence and not adhering to safety features.

Mayor Adam Yii yesterday chaired the full council meeting and heard from councillor Ong Chee Yee that checks by the council found these unlicensed operators mushrooming.

Ong is in charge of the council committee responsible for public health and safety issues.

Yii said the council issued final warning to the operators of the 37 motels and lodging houses that unless they take steps to comply with all building-safety laws and apply for licence to operate, they would have to close down.

“We will have no choice but to apply for a court order to shut down all these 37 motels and lodging houses as a last resort.

“Public safety is the priority concern now.

“Even though we understand the need for motels and lodging to operate so as to provide accommodation services to backpackers and budget-tourists and travellers who come from rural areas, we cannot compromise on safety.

“Many of them are unsafe as they do not have all the necessary safety features required.

“Since they have refused to apply for licence and they insist on operating like this, we may have to force them to shut down,” he said.

Yii said the council and Miri Fire and Rescue Dept and inspectors carried out checks in all the important safety aspects of these buildings such as the fire-escape, safety switches, wirings, fire hydrants, fire hoses and availability of fire extinguishers.

“We deployed different teams of inspection personnels to check on these accommodation facilities.

“We have issued warnings to the management on the spot,” he said.

The Miri Fire and Rescue Dept report said the safety-breach were mostly pertaining to unsafe wiring and blockages along fire escape and stairways.

Many of these buildings also have failed to install fire alarms.

These breaches will endanger the lives of people in the event of fire outbreaks, Yii said.

Miri has more than 100 hotels and motels plus lodging houses and the city has a population of 350,000.

Yii also congratulated the city council sports team for winning third place in the 2018 state-level Local Council Sports Carnival recently.

Miri City Council team won numerous medals during the sports carnival held in Bintulu early this month.

The sports carnival saw 28 local council authorities in Sarawak taking part in various games to foster closer rapport among each other.

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